7 Tips to improve writing and create valuable content
Writing is undoubtedly one of the most valued skills in digital marketing. It gives brands a voice and allows them to compete more vigorously among the hundreds of blogs and articles that are generated every day. But finding the right words is not always an easy task. The content of a web page must be significant and quality enough to attract readers and engage them in the story; which poses a challenging path for the editor.
There is a scenario that even the most experienced writer has had to face: the blank sheet and the writing cursor blinking for long minutes. The bad news is that there is no magic formula to completely reverse that situation. But the good news is that there are a number of activities that significantly lessen that unwanted “neural strike” and help create valuable content more quickly.
7 Tips to improve writing
1. Practice self-knowledge
Have you done a SWOT analysis? It is usually used to carry out studies at the level of companies or institutions, but it is also applicable at the individual level. In fact, it is very convenient to do it to analyze those external and internal variables that enhance or reduce quality of your work.
Let’s break down this tool:
- Strengths : What characteristics make you stand out from the rest? What are the areas of knowledge that you handle? What are the topics that you develop most easily? Do you speak any language other than native?
- Opportunities : What paths can you travel thanks to your strengths? Is there a new project to use the skills and knowledge that you have not put into practice? What could you contribute to the website? For example, if you are a shrewd researcher, specialist in visualizations and graphic programs, you can discover that story that others do not see and generate captivating visual content.
- Weaknesses : What are the mistakes you often make? Do you need a more technical language and you don’t have it? Take too long to write?
- Threats : do you have a lot of competition with highly qualified professionals? Are the readers of your market preferring content that your knowledge does not allow you to deliver?
By becoming aware of all these factors, not only will you be able to enhance your strengths, but you will also be more prepared to face your weaknesses and threats in time and look for the most appropriate solutions or strategies.
2. Accept criticism and learn from your mistakes
For any editor, feedback is essential, either with their editor, other writers or those who consume their content. As colloquially said, two heads think better than one. You can be a marvel writing, possess all the experience in the world and receive countless congratulations on your texts, but that is not synonymous with perfection. It is always possible to improve.
By the way, even if it costs, this implies having the ego well controlled. When it grows like foam, it becomes our worst advisor and does not reveal those errors that diminish the quality of work. It is important to look for those critical eyes that will help you build a better story and visualize your mistakes. Allow others to review what you are going to post, ask for opinions or suggestions. There are many talented people who can be a huge contribution. Don’t waste that opportunity.
3. Read, read and read
Being an avid reader is an essential condition for writing valuable articles. And the opportunities to read are quite wide. We have books, blog posts and specialized sites, newspapers, magazines, papers, ebooks, and much more. But the idea is to diversify what you read and consume more challenging pages. Exposure to a wide range of subjects, styles, and degrees of complexity will not only increase your vocabulary, it will also fill you with ideas, teach you writing techniques, and maximize your reading comprehension.
But how do you make the most of what you read?
- Underline or highlight what you find interesting.
- Discuss how the writer moves from one idea to another and how he structures sentences.
- Rescue those words you don’t know and find out their meaning .
- Relate different ideas from different texts and find a common point. Maybe you will find the topic for your next article.
- Investigate . Take some meaningful phrase or data and look for more information about it. It will help you expand your knowledge, understand and form a more specialized opinion.
There are many other elements that we could include in this list, but the essential thing is to face reading without prejudice or preconceived ideas. Otherwise, you only see or understand what you want to see and we lose the opportunity to extract all the potential that this set of words had for us.
4. Write frequently
Writing is learned by writing, there is no other way. As in many other areas of knowledge, practice makes perfect. And that does not only refer to writing in front of a computer or mobile device. You can do it in a pad or notebook and even have a blackboard to write down the ideas that will shape your next text. Try to write every day, even a few paragraphs. Without realizing it, you will start to write faster and create more valuable content.
Also, let’s understand that writing for a publication intended exclusively for paper is not the same as writing for the web. By the way, there are elements in common for both versions, such as spelling standards, originality and quality, but a digital article requires handling additional factors. For example, SEO and the correct use of keywords. It is something that is not learned overnight, but is controlled by experience.
5. Look for sources of inspiration
We already saw it, reading is an endless source of inspiration, but there are also other channels that will help you fill your brain with ideas to create valuable content in less time, without losing originality.
- Study. Take courses, look for opportunities to learn new things. It is probably the longest way, but the final satisfaction will be priceless.
- Attend specialized seminars or events.
- Do content curation .
- Get your team together to brainstorm.
- Monitor trends by comparing search patterns related to your market. Some of the tools you can use are Google Trends , BuzzSumo and Mention .
- Look at the social networks. Platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are a very interesting repository of information. Of course, you have to filter, but you can save hashtags to continually review them, join groups, and follow profiles that feed you with ideas.
- Learn how to analyze data. It is also a long way, but as we told you in Postedin, these are fertile ground to create great stories .
6. Eliminate distractions
It is not always possible to completely isolate yourself from noise and interruptions, especially when working in teams and in busy offices. But there are elements that can be controlled.
- Access to social networks. We told you that they serve as inspiration, but they are also one of the main distractors. As you write, forget about them. And if the temptation to visit them is very high, the Strict Workflow tool for Chrome will be a perfect ally to keep you focused.
- Organize your tasks and time. Having an action plan with well defined objectives benefits productivity.
- If possible, silence your cell phone or turn it off.
- Music is an excellent company. If it helps you create and stay focused, listen to it. Obviously, with headphones so as not to disturb others.
- Keep your desk tidy and leave everything you will need for your work within reach.
7. Give your brain a break
There are times when our gray matter seems to conspire against us. Ideas do not flow and the number of hours we spend on each article begins to increase more than the corresponding. Sometimes it is difficult, especially when working with a limited time frame, but it is necessary to rest. Otherwise, along with lowering productivity, we start to act mechanically.
As exemplified by the Business2Community site, when we decide to edit or proofread our texts, as we finish writing them, simple spelling and grammar mistakes will most likely go unnoticed . Therefore, the ideal is to forget about the world for a while, leave the edition for later and recharge with energy. Get out, breathe, walk, sleep, listen to music, do sports. Do any entertaining activity that restores your concentration.
Ready to write? Transforming the content of a web page into a powerful and memorable piece, requires seriousness and a lot of dedication. Reinvent yourself, increase your knowledge, always trust your abilities, but do not let the ego win you every time you are congratulated for what you do. If you work to grow as a professional, the quality of your content will do it with you.